Overcast again this late-afternoon Sunday here in California’s Central Valley — under skies without much sunshine, the temps are lower than normal as summer heat keeps being pushed further and further back into the short-range future.
However, we’ll gladly take all the time we can before our seasonal air boiler gets really cranked up, supposedly maybe next week.
Aside from the shitload of shit stories right now on T-Rump and his impending perp walk this coming Tuesday, another deadly item still generating horror is the continuing hellscape that’s the Ukrainian war, fostered by Russian moral cruelty. The war has progressed (CEPA): ‘The social media channels are alive with grainy footage of tanks and explosions in Southern and Eastern Ukraine. There are statements everywhere that Kyiv’s long-expected counteroffensive is underway, which is causing some excitement and trepidation. The offensive is incredibly important for Ukraine’s future.‘
Although just marginal results reported so far, the shit-kicking will come::
A Ukrainian FPV loitering munition chases down a Russian BTR-80 pic.twitter.com/e5kurVtgXS
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) June 11, 2023
War update from a few minutes ago via Reuters — nutshell lede:
Ukraine said on Sunday its troops had made territorial advances on three villages in its southeast, the first liberated settlements it has reported since launching a counter-offensive this past week.
Kyiv’s forces posted unverified videos showing soldiers hoisting the Ukrainian flag at a bombed-out building in the village of Blahodatne in Donetsk region and posing with their unit’s flag in the adjacent village of Neskuchne.
Further per The New York Times (paywall):
Ukraine’s 68th Brigade posted video on Facebook of its soldiers raising the nation’s blue-and-yellow flag over the village of Blahodatne, in the eastern region of Donetsk. A deputy defense minister said Ukraine’s forces had also taken the nearby village of Makarivka, and the Ukrainian Volunteer Army said it had reclaimed a neighboring settlement, Neskuchne.
“We are driving the enemy from our homeland,” an unidentified soldier says in the video. “It’s the most pleasant feeling. Ukraine will be victorious.”
They have to be in order to rid Europe (and the world) of Vlad Putin and the terror of an entire Russian military strategy based upon slaughter, genocide, and cruelty, as in Russians not necessarily attacking Ukrainian military targets, but civilians and the civilian infrastructure landscape. There’s been nothing but horror stories of Russian atrocities since this shit started nearly 18 months ago,
And it’s been a pattern — Peter Pomerantsev, a senior fellow at SNF Agora Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and author of “Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia,” notes at the Guardian this afternoon the world has so far allowed Putin to skate:
Beneath the veneer of Russian military “tactics”, you see the stupid leer of destruction for the sake of it. The Kremlin can’t create, so all that is left is to destroy. Not in some pseudo-glorious self-immolation, the people behind atrocities are petty cowards, but more like a loser smearing their faeces over life. In Russia’s wars the very senselessness seems to be the sense.
After the casual mass executions at Bucha; after the bombing of maternity wards in Mariupol; after the laying to waste of whole cities in Donbas; after the children’s torture chambers, the missiles aimed at freezing civilians to death in the dead of winter, we now have the apocalyptic sight of the waters of the vast Dnipro, a river that when you are on it can feel as wide as a sea, bursting through the destroyed dam at Kakhovka. The reservoir held as much water as the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Its destruction has already submerged settlements where more than 40,000 people live. It has already wiped out animal sanctuaries and nature reserves. It will decimate agriculture in the bread basket of Ukraine that feeds so much of the world, most notably in the Middle East and Africa. To Russian genocide add ecocide.
The dam has been controlled by Russia for more than a year. The Ukrainian government has been warning that Russia had plans to blast it since October.
Russia claims to be a powerful “pole” in the world to balance the west – but has failed to create a successful political model others would want to join. So it has nothing left to offer except to drag everyone down to its own depths.“How dare you live like this,” went a resentful piece of graffiti by Russian soldiers in Bucha. “What’s the point of the world when there is no place for Russia in it,” complains Putin. After the dam at Kakhovka was destroyed, a General Dobruzhinsky crowed on a popular Russian talkshow: “We should blow up the Kyiv water reservoir too.” “Why?” asked the host. “Just to show them.” But, as Ogarkova and Yermolenko explore, Russians also send their soldiers to die senselessly in the meat grinder of the Donbas, their bodies left uncollected on the battlefield, their relatives not informed of their death so as to avoid paying them. On TV, presenters praise how “no one knows how to die like us”. Meanwhile, villagers on the Russian-occupied side of the river are being abandoned by the authorities. Being “liberated” by Russia means joining its empire of humiliation.
The reaction in the west to the explosion of the dam has been weirdly muted. Ukrainians are mounting remarkable rescue operations, while Russia continues to shell semi-submerged cities, but they are doing it more or less alone. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has been mystified by the “zero support” from international organisations such as the UN and Red Cross.
Perhaps the relative lack of support comes partly because people feel helpless in the face of something so immense, these Cecil B DeMille-like scenes of giant rivers exploding. It’s the same helplessness some feel when faced with the climate crisis. It’s apposite that the strongest response to Russia’s ecocide came not from governments but the climate activist Greta Thunberg, who clearly laid the blame of what happened on Russia and demanded it be held accountable. But there’s been barely a peep out of western governments or the UN.
Pushing the strange lure of death, oblivion and just giving up is the Russian gambit. How much life do we have left in us?
As usual for grown-ups, Greta Thunberg is once again actually the only adult in the room with a backbone:
Wisdom from the mouth of children, or not, yet here we are once again…
(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Agonizing Horse,’ found here.)